Tag Archives: Christmas

#29 – Holiday Marbled Chocolate Bark

We try not to get sucked into the consumer spirit during the holidays, so I like to make gifts. Other alternatives are giving your loved ones a gift of a special experience (e.g., nice dinner out together), or donating to a charity. Anyways, this year I made holiday bark. It’s super easy, and looks really nice.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (good quality) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 8 oz (good quality) white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced Brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 toasted shaved coconut
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

*You can be quite flexible with the above ingredients (except the chocolate). For example,  I didn’t use Brazil nuts, but used almonds, and used mixed berries instead of cranberries.

Method:

  1. Place the dark chocolate in one heatproof bowl, and the white chocolate in another. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer.
  2. Place one bowl over the pan (ensure the bottom of bowl doesn’t touch the water to prevent burning). Stir often, until chocolate is melted
  3. Set this bowl aside, and repeat with the other chocolate/bowl.
  4. Once both chocolates are melted and cooled (5-10 minutes), line a large baking sheet with parchment/wax paper.
  5. Pour the chocolates onto the paper (rows/blobs), until they form a somewhat cohesive shape.
  6. Use a toothpick/thin knife and swirl the chocolate with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Place in fridge, until everything is set (chocolate is hard).
  8. When ready to serve, break the bark up into desired sized pieces and enjoy!

From: Sweet and Southern by Ben Mims

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#11- Ginger Cookies

20141214_165813I was invited to my first cookie exchange party this weekend. It was fun all around – lots of sugar and a delicious brunch. I made and brought these Ginger cookies.

Perfect for the Christmas season.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • extra sugar for dipping

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream butter until fluffy, using an electric mixer (about 5 mins)
  3. Add egg and beat until smooth
  4. Add molasses and beat for a few more minutes
  5. In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients (except for the extra sugar).
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter by hand, mixing with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  7. Cover the batter and chill (for a few hours) in the fridge.
  8. Spread the dipping sugar on a plate
  9. Roll the batter into small balls, and dip one side in sugar. Set the balls, sugar side up, 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (they will spread quite a bit)
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Cookies will crackle on top.
  12. Do not over bake or they will become too hard – as they should be chewy
  13. Cool, before enjoying

(adapted from the Girl Can’t Cook)

Rolling the dough in sugar

Rolling the dough in sugar

#10 – Chocolate Pudding Banana Bread Trifle

Instagram_Trifle

So here it is! I combined the previously made coconut banana bread and chocolate pudding to make this super trifle! We had a Christmas party, and I brought this along. This trifle scores more points as a fun dessert than an elegant one.

Since there wasn’t any baking involved in this trifle (other than the banana bread), this is 0.5 of a bake, which means I’m on my 10th bake! Woohoo.

Ingredients:

  • Banana bread
  • 2 barely ripe bananas, sliced
  • Chocolate pudding (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans/walnuts
  • Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings/cocoa powder/raspberries for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut banana bread into bite-sized chunks; spread half of them over the bottom of a trifle bowl (or any deep glass serving bowl)

20141217_1943572. Cover with sliced bananas (pressing some against the glass), half of the chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, and pecans.

20141217_19545420141217_200117

20141217_2017533. Top with remaining banana bread cubes and pudding.

20141217_2043204. Shake the bowl a little, so pudding spreads and oozes down between the layers.

5. Cover with plastic wrap, chill in fridge overnight.

6. Before serving, spoon/pipe whipped cream around the edge of bowl. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and raspberries. Or instead of the shaved chocolate, dust a very small amount of cocoa powder on top.

(adapted from The Girl Can’t Cook)

#8- Vanilla & Chocolate pinwheel cookies

Christmas baking is in effect! This week, I made pinwheel cookies. These cookies are great because they freeze well before baking and you can pull them out whenever if you want something baked in just a few minutes. Because of that, I made 2 batches, and separated into 3 occasions to bake this week (one I baked today, another I left in the fridge to bake in 2 days, and then froze the rest to bake in 5 days).

These look and taste great!

20141206_085257

Vanilla & Chocolate pinwheel cookies – Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sifted sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 -1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 oz melted unsweetened chocolate

Method:

  1. Beat butter until soft (I used my trusty stand-mixer; but I suppose you could work out your arm muscles and do it by hand in a large bowl)
  2. Gradually add and blend sugar, until creamy
  3. Beat egg in a separate bowl; add egg to butter mixture
  4. Add in vanilla and cinnamon
  5. Sift flour in a separate bowl (approximate the amount); then measure and re-sift with salt and baking powder
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture
  7. Mix well
  8. Divide the dough into half
  9. Melt chocolate over a double boiler – cool for 5 minutes
  10. To one half of the dough, add the chocolate and incorporate well
  11. Wrap the doughs separately in plastic wrap or tin foil, and put in fridge for at least 2 hours to harden
  12. After the 2 hours (or more), roll dough out on a floured surface into oblong shapes to about 1/8 inch thick (I rolled the light dough first, then dark; this way the light dough won’t get chocolate bits stuck onto it)
  13. Place the dark dough onto the light dough and starting from the far end, roll the layers together towards you, length-wise
  14. (optional) Scatter the coconut underneath the light dough and roll the dough on the coconut to coat. 20141206_094322
  15. You should now have a 2-inch diameter roll. Wrap this in plastic wrap tightly (not tin foil, as this can leave marks).
  16. (Optional) Put roll in a paper towel tube, to keep the shape when chilling. I bypassed this step and put the roll on a plate in the fridge – as a result, the bottom part of the roll was more square. Not a big deal though
  17. Chill in fridge for 12-24 hours; or if you would like to bake the cookies much later, you can put in the freezer at this point.
  18. (12-24 hours later) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  19. Thinly slice cookies (about 1 inch thick), and place on a greased cookie sheet
  20. Bake for 8-10 minutes

(adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

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